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Old 08-01-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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Firemouth acting strange

I've had my firemouth for about 3 weeks and he started acting strange today. His mouth and gills just keep expanding and contracting, almost like he's eating, even though today is not feeding day. He's been doing this for hours. All other fish are fine.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:13 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by 5x5
I've had my firemouth for about 3 weeks and he started acting strange today. His mouth and gills just keep expanding and contracting, almost like he's eating, even though today is not feeding day. He's been doing this for hours. All other fish are fine.

Any ideas?
Do u know what ur parameters are ???
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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Size/age of the fish?
What other fish are in there?
Size of the tank?
And lastly is he/she scraping or flashing on gravel or decor?
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Fish: convict, firemouth, BN pleco, tiger barbs

Age: 4 months
Size: 65 gallon

No flashing/scraping

Water parameters
Ph 7.2
Ammonia .25
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 10

I did a pwc the other day because the ph had drifted down to about 6.4. Could the change from that to 7.2 explain the behavior? It didn't seem to affect the other fish at all.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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I hate to be a pessimist but I recently had a Texas and a Green Terror display this behavior and within one week both were dead from Cottonmouth.

Has his appetite diminished at all? Loss of appetite was the first symptom both my fish displayed.

I hope he is ok.

Cheers,
ozmo
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 5x5 View Post
Fish: convict, firemouth, BN pleco, tiger barbs

Age: 4 months
Size: 65 gallon

No flashing/scraping

Water parameters
Ph 7.2
Ammonia .25
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 10

I did a pwc the other day because the ph had drifted down to about 6.4. Could the change from that to 7.2 explain the behavior? It didn't seem to affect the other fish at all.
I would keep up the daily water changes, the cycle is probably dragging with the low PH levels. I would add some crushed coral in the filter to raise the PH levels to speed the cycle through, start with a handful then monitor the levels for a week or so.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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I fed them tonight and the firemouth is not eating. He's just hovering low by the gravel and doing the pulsating mouth thing. Now I'm really concerned.

What is cottonmouth? Is that some type of fish disease? I'll keep doing water changes for the next few days.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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Columnaris is a bactierial infection commonly called cottonmouth from the appearance of cotton like fibers around the mouth, some people think it's a fungus based on some symptoms. I've experienced this and you'd know when it's happening from the white lesions around the body which kills fish within 3-7 days without treatment...I lost 15 mbuna last year before I stopped it.

Keep up the daily water changes, bump up the temp a couple of degrees to around 80-81, and increase aeration. You could even add some aquarium salt to combat the effects from the nitrite levels.
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:40 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 5x5
I fed them tonight and the firemouth is not eating. He's just hovering low by the gravel and doing the pulsating mouth thing. Now I'm really concerned.

What is cottonmouth? Is that some type of fish disease? I'll keep doing water changes for the next few days.
Do you have a hospital tank set up? If so quarantine him immediately and use something like Melafix and I would still salt your main tank as suggested by Hukit.

If it is Cottonmouth it can spread very easily and very quickly.
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Old 08-03-2011, 10:12 AM   #10
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Bad news. I woke up this morning and the Firemouth was dead and being picked at by the Tiger Barbs.

I didn't see any "cotton like fibers" by the mouth, but I did notice some white buildup under the gills. Any idea on that one?

Alos, I took a picture of him up close after I removed him from the tank in case you wanted to see, but figured I'd ask before I posted that, since no one wants to stumble on a picture of a dead fish.

I'm very dissapointed. Wish I could have done something.
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